Photo by Bruce Lee Smith Rigoberto Gonzalez poses in front of some of his paintings
Barocco en la Frontera” contains more than two dozen of Gonzalez’s drawings and paintings. Several of them are nude figure studies and three have full frontal nudity. It is those three that have caused the controversy. Joel Humphries, director of Arts and Entertainment for the city, said it was all a case of bad timing.
In the museum’s other gallery is “Taking Flight: A History of Kites.” Humphries said hundreds of local school children are scheduled to tour the exhibit within the next month. “We didn’t want some child wandering in there, supervised or not supervised … and then the next thing you know we have upset parents calling city commissioners,” Humphries said.
Gabriel Gonzalez, the city official, said he originally wanted to display the three works in question in a separate room with a closed door. Rigoberto Gonzalez said the city official first wanted the paintings removed entirely or put in a separate room where people were required to sign in before viewing them.
The compromise reached was that the doors to the gallery would remain closed and display a warning sign about the content. Patricia Morales, museum coordinator for HAHM, said the works are executed in a classical style and are hardly obscene. “I’m very proud that we’re exhibiting them,” she said. “They’re very beautiful.”
[From Now: Art show featuring nudity, decapitation causes stir | city, exhibit, gonzalez : TheMonitor.com]
What is interesting about this situation is that there has been no outcry about the violent pieces including decapitations. surely, if the museum was truly concerned about children seeing images that may scar them the violent images would be at the top of the list? but no, as usual everyone is afraid that the mere sight of a nude body will send children off the deep end. or is it just that our society is now so warped that something natural that we all have is more shameful and disgusting than the violence surrounding us.
Gonzalez’s works are inspired by baroque style and he cites art history as a source of bloody and violent works. Classically, violence, often inspired by biblical stories, was a favorite subject, nudes and the female form were almost as prevalent. It seems a real shame that these pieces are now behind closed doors, I had a chance to see some of his works on this youtube video and they look stunning. very much in the style of the masters (and some of my favorite artists) and I venture that this exhibition might be educational to kids as it explores the underworld and the way drug deals can go wrong. Gonzalez is a teacher and judging by the comments on his youtube, his students are aware of his works and not particularly scarred by them. when did we start feeling a need to shield kids from reality?
3 thoughts on “Museum fears children seeing nudes, not decapitations”
Jennie, I’m surprised at you. You are either totally out of touch or totally perveted. Nudity? In front of children? What next, breastfeeding babies in public?!
Surly not, not in America, land of the (formerly) free and home of continuous violence on television and movies. You don’t seem to understand that violence is now an everyday part of our children’s lives, whether real in the streets or the media. It doesn’t bother them, they’re used to it. Don’t sweat it, nobody else does.
But nudity! Just think what would happen if tomorrow’s leaders found out at a young age that everybody has genitals and/or breasts that don’t need to be hidden/displayed in nifty sexualized ways? What if they didn’t learn early that nudity is evil and only to be exploited for profit or some sort of personal power-play? The idea that the nude human body can be harmless and even artistic is bitterly at odds with our culture, which has helped bring us to where America is today.
Jennie, Jennie, Jennie. We love you but feel that maybe you need to be reprogrammed. Then you could be happily painting pictures of puppys and waterboardings, good old-fashioned American values sort of things. With (in)sincere hope that you find the Light,
ROFL Steve! 😆 I think you have hit the nail on the head with that one. ah well, I think I would prefer to be woefully naive if this is the alternative!
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